FDA Panel Weighs OK of 'Female Viagra'

Recent research has shown increase in sexual satisfaction, if not libido

FRIDAY, June 18 (HealthDay News) -- A U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory panel on Friday was considering whether to approve a drug dubbed the "female Viagra" for premenopausal women with a diminished sex drive.

Called flibanserin, the drug is related to the antidepressant family and affects serotonin and other chemicals in the brain. Drug maker Boehringer Ingelheim has been seeking FDA approval of the drug.

While the agency isn't compelled to follow the recommendations of its advisory panels, it typically does so.

Earlier this week, the FDA released a review of two studies that found the drug didn't have much impact on a woman's libido but did seem to slightly boost sexual satisfaction, according to published reports.

Side effects seen with use of the drug included depression, fainting and dizziness, the FDA said.

The drug, with the proposed brand name Girosa, is designed to be taken in 100-milligram pills once a day at bedtime, according to the FDA.

Since the extraordinary success of Viagra for men, which hit the market a decade ago, pharmaceutical companies have repeatedly tried to find a comparable drug treatment for women. But none of those treatments has resulted in a significant benefit.

More information

To learn more about women's sexual health, visit the International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health.

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